Yesterday was my birthday and resulted in many happy returns as well as a lovely pile of new reading material. These are books I've wanted for a while for a variety of reasons. Here's the rundown:
WHAT THE WORLD WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN ALL THE WATER LEAVES US by Laura van den Berg. This collection of short story from the fabulous crew at Dzanc Books has gotten accolades all over the place and includes several subjects that appeal to me from some Bigfoot silliness, to a few scientific perspective to even long distance swimming. I'm hopeful of something with touches of Anthony Doerr and/or Andrea Barrett.
MISSING LUCILE by Suzanne Berne. True story about a woman researching the life of her grandmother - with very little to go on (she died when the author's father was only six). I am a genealogy junkie and live for this kind of thing. I hope it's awesome.
AMONG THE MAD by Jacqueline Winspear. This is the Maisie Dobbs mystery I'm up to so my Mom got it for me! What's especially awesome is that I buy them for her in hardcover (she gets me the paperbacks, which I prefer). The fact that we both love this series and buy them for each other tells you everything you need to know about my family.
THE GIRL IN THE SONG by Heatley & Hopkinson. I'm a pop culture junkie and this is soooo cool! I now know who "Tiny Dancer" was written about. I can sleep happy tonight.
DOGTOWN by Elyssa East. A mashup of a true crime (murder) that occurred in 1984 Dogtown, an "isolated colonial ruin and surrounding 3,000 acre woodland in seaside Gloucester, Massachusetts" and a history of the ruin along with all the haunted legends and stories that accompany it. New England ghost stories are always good. And really - does it surprise anyone that I wanted this book?
THE CONTROVERSY TOUCHING THE OLD STONE MILL IN THE TOWN OF NEWPORT RHODE ISLAND. This reprint of a long oop title about the mystery structure in Newport known as the Old Stone Mill is another part (along with DOGTOWN) of my brother's "I see dead people" gift giving theme this year. We saw this while back east last month and were totally intrigued. Lots of stories about who might have built it or what its purpose was, I'm looking forward to learning more.
RACING IN THE STREET Edited by June Sawyers. A collection of articles on Bruce Springsteen. He's one of my favorite poets, hands down; never get tired of reading more on him.
THE PRINCIPLES OF UNCERTAINTY by Maira Kalman. Described as "part personal narrative, part documentary, part travelogue, part chapbook, and all Kalman." So, yes. I wanted it.
And finally - the bestest ever - TRAVELS OF WILLIAM BARTRAM RECONSIDERED by Mark Dion. If you are intrigued by Dan Eldon, by the place where natural history and science and art converge. If Peter Beard appeals to you, if you look at old musty cabinets and wonder what is inside, then you have to check this out. See much more at Dion's site.
[See more about the Dion museum exhibit on William Bartram here.]